How To Tell If A Horse Is Pregnant Without A Vet

How To Tell If A Horse Is Pregnant Without A Vet


If you have a mare, it’s important to know if she is pregnant. While most breeders will use an ultrasound or blood test to confirm pregnancy and then again at 16 days to predict when the foal will arrive, these services cost money. If you want a rough estimate of your mare’s due date and don’t want to pay for testing, there are a few physical signs that can give you some clues.

How to tell when a horse is pregnant without a vet

In order to determine whether or not your mare is pregnant without a vet, you should first go through a visual inspection of the udder and vulva. The udder will be much larger, and there will be a bump at its base. You can also feel for this bump with your hand; it should be about an inch long and about half an inch wide. If you don’t feel anything yet, wait another week before checking on her again.

After assessing the udder, take another look at her vulva to see if it has changed shape at all since she’s been pregnant (if she was previously). The vulva should have changed into a slit-like opening instead of being closed like it usually is while horses are in heat.

Another way to tell whether or not your horse is pregnant without having any veterinary equipment is by listening for heartbeat sounds inside their abdomen using an ultrasound machine or stethoscope (the latter being cheaper). This method requires some skill but can still give good results if done properly!


What are the signs and symptoms of pregnancy in horses?

Signs and symptoms of pregnancy in horses may include an increase in appetite; a thickened abdomen, or swelling; and the failure to cycle. It is not uncommon for a mare to show signs of pregnancy before she has actually been bred by another horse. A vet can determine whether a mare is truly pregnant by examining urine samples under a microscope, measuring hormone levels in blood samples, checking the cervix for softening (which indicates uterine enlargement), and performing ultrasound screenings. The most reliable method of determining if a horse is pregnant without veterinary involvement is palpation — feeling for lumps on your mare’s abdomen that may indicate an embryo or fetus inside her uterus (womb).

The horse’s behavior changes

An easy way to tell if a horse is pregnant is by observing her behavior. When a female horse is expecting, she will show certain signs of pregnancy.

  • Mood swings
  • More affectionate
  • More aggressive
  • More playful
  • Standoffish (mostly with new people)

You may also notice that your horse:

  • Is more vulnerable—this means that she’s more likely to take risks, such as pulling on fences or going through water hazards in the pasture. She might also be less afraid of loud noises or unfamiliar people than usual.
  • Is withdrawn from others—she won’t want to be around other horses in the herd and may even go so far as avoiding them altogether if possible (if there aren’t any other females nearby).

Alternatively, you might notice some other changes:

  • Your mare could become friendlier with humans and more passive around them; this may be because she needs help during delivery or perhaps because her hormones are changing following delivery!

Why does a pregnant mare act so weird?

If you’ve ever seen a pregnant mare, you know that they are much different than a non-pregnant mare. They tend to look bloated and swollen. This is because their uterus (the organ that grows to hold the growing fetus) has expanded. They may also act differently than they did before they became pregnant:

  • Increased thirst can be an early sign of pregnancy, as well as increased urination, which can lead to dehydration if not treated properly.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy increase heart rate and breathing rate in horses—this is normal! But if your horse begins panting heavily without any physical exertion or stimulation like flies buzzing around them, this could indicate that something is wrong with either their respiratory tract or their nervous system (like panic attacks).

Your mare’s appetite changes

There are many signs of pregnancy in horses, but one of the most noticeable is the change in appetite. A mare’s appetite can increase significantly during pregnancy, and she will often consume more food than usual. You might also notice that your horse is selective about what she eats or has a change in her taste preferences. Some mares start to enjoy eating grass and hay, while others prefer grain or other foods not usually eaten by horses at this time.

Some mares even eat dirt! This is normal for pregnant females because it helps them consume nutrients from their environment (this behavior may be an instinctual response to being pregnant). If you notice that your horse has started eating dirt, don’t worry—it’s perfectly safe for both you and her if you don’t make any changes to accommodate this behavior until after she gives birth. However, keep an eye out for any swelling around her stomach that may indicate worms or parasites—you’ll want to get these treated before they become a problem!

Your mare’s coat changes

Some changes in your mare’s coat are a good indication that she’s pregnant. You may notice that her coat changes color, becomes duller or shinier than usual, and/or thicker than usual. This can happen even before the foal is born.

Another change to look for is if your horse no longer has her winter coat and starts growing a new one during springtime. While this isn’t necessarily a sign of pregnancy (it could be due to other factors like seasonal changes), it can help you determine whether or not she is pregnant by comparing it against previous years when you know she was not expecting a foal

Being able to tell if your mare is pregnant or not can help you prepare for the foaling season.

  • Being able to tell if your mare is pregnant or not can help you prepare for the foaling season. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call in a vet.
  • How To Tell If Your Mare Is Pregnant Without A Vet

Behavioral changes:A pregnant mare will have an increased appetite and may be more active than before.


If your horse is pregnant, it’s an exciting time. If you’re interested in learning more about pregnancy, we recommend reading our article on the ‘Pregnant Horse: What To Expect.’

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